Staring at a blank page and trying to write a poem can be very intimidating. No matter what you are trying to write, how to begin can trip up even the most prolific writers. There is a reason why there are so many books and websites devoted to writing prompts and inspiration. You can find many at the library!

Even sitting down to write this blog post. I began with staring at the blank page wondering how to begin. Do I start right away explaining what found poetry is, or do I show an example first, then explain? Do I start out with a humorous story or something inspiring?

So let’s just start!

So you love poetry, you want to write a poem, but there it is… that blank page. There are as many ways to start a poem as there are types of poems themselves, but one of the easiest and most fun is found poetry. A found poem is exactly what it says, a poem made up from words found in some way or another. Here are some ways you can create found poetry:

Cut Words from a Magazine

If you choose to cut words from a magazine (or several magazines), make sure everyone is finished reading them first! If you are using a magazine to cut out words, that’s pretty simple. Find the words you like and cut them out. After you cut out your words, arrange them on a piece of construction paper or any kind of paper until you have a poem. It’s a little bit like magnetic poetry except you will tape or glue them into place.

Black Out Words from a Book

You can create found poetry from a page of your favorite book. Pick out the words you want to use in your poem, and black out the rest (this is also known as black out poetry). If you are using a page from a book, be sure to make a copy of the page, and don’t tear it out of a book! *Gasp!*

If trying this method, read through the page and circle the words you want to use. If you need an “a” or an “I”, you can “take it out of another word. Once you have your words chosen, black out all the words on the page that are not part of your poem. You can simply black them out or you can get artistic and turn them into illustrations. Whatever way you choose to do it, it should be dark enough that the words of your found poem stand out. Watch my video below for an example I created.

Need More Inspiration?

Check out these books for some found poetry inspiration. Have fun finding your own poems!